Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To William Kellogg [1]

Hon: William Kellogg. Springfield, Ills.
My dear Sir: Dec. 11. 1859

I have been a good deal relieved this morning by a sight of Greeley's letter to you, published in the Tribune. [2] Before seeing it, I much feared you had, in charging interviews between Douglas & Greely, stated what you believed, but did not certainly know to be true; and that it might be untrue, and our enemies would get an advantage of you. However, as G. admits the interviews, I think it will not hurt you that he denies conversing with D. about his re-[e]lection to the Senate. G. I think, will not tell a falsehood; and I think he will scarcely deny that he had the interviews with D. in order to assure himself from D's own lips, better than he could from his public acts & declarations, whether to try to bring the Republican party to his support generally, including his re-election to the Senate. What else could the interviews be for? Why immediately followed in the Tribune the advice that all anti-Lecompton democrats should be re-elected? The world will not considerPage  507 it any thing that D's reelection to the Senate was not specifically talked of by him & G.

Now, mark, I do not charge that G. was corrupt in this. I do not think he was, or is. It was his judgment that the course he took was the best way of serving the Republican cause. For this reason, and for the further reason, that he is now pulling straight with us, I think, if I were you, I would not pursue him further than necessary to my own justification. If I were you I would however be greatly tempted [to] ask him if he really thinks D.s advice to his friends to vote for a Lecompton & Slave code man, is very ``plucky''

Please excuse what I have said, in the way of unsolicited a[d]vice. I believe you will not doubt the sincerity of my friendship for you. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, ORB.

[2]   Lincoln refers to Greeley's signed editorial, ``A Word with a Congressman,'' in the New York Tribune, December 8, 1859, in which Greeley replied to Kellogg's charge, made in the U.S. House of Representatives, December 5, 1859, that Greeley and others ``met in the parlor of Senator Douglas [in 1858], plotting and planning to sell Illinois and Missouri too. . . .'' Greeley admitted that he had visited Douglas, but maintained that ``Mr. Douglas's reelection to the Senate, or his future election to any post whatever, was not even mentioned.''